Minorities, Heterosexuals Tend to Delay HIV Test
June 27, 2003
Blacks, Hispanics, heterosexuals, and the less educated who are HIV-positive are the least likely to find out about their diagnosis early on, CDC reported Thursday. "These findings were not so surprising, because we have other studies that show similar findings," said Dr. Eyasu Teshale, a CDC medical epidemiologist.Adapted from:
Teshale and colleagues analyzed data from interviews conducted at 16 U.S. sites. Of those surveyed, 72 percent were men, 56 percent were black, 22 percent were white, and 19 percent were Hispanic. Early testers were defined as people who had their first positive HIV test five years or more before an AIDS diagnosis, or who spent five years or more without an AIDS diagnosis after their first positive test. Late testers were those who had their first positive HIV test one year or less before an AIDS diagnosis.
Compared with early testers, late testers were significantly more likely to be black or Hispanic, to have been exposed to HIV through heterosexual sex, to have a high school or lower education, and to have had a previous negative HIV test before their first positive test. Late testers were most likely to seek testing due to illness (65 percent), while early testers sought the test because they felt they were at risk (29 percent) or because they were interested in knowing their HIV status (19 percent).
According to Teshale, the finding that roughly half of those surveyed with AIDS had their first positive HIV test one year or less before being diagnosed with AIDS was especially disturbing. The study, "Late Versus Early Testing of HIV -- 16 Sites, United States, 2000-2003," is published in the current Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2003;52(25):581-586).
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.